Archive

Posts Tagged ‘WHU’

WHUFC vs Tottenham Hotspur EPL 2016/2017 06/05/2017

May 6, 2017 Leave a comment

IMG_1387

Cast your mind back to 2006 and this. Well #ItHappenedAgain but minus the Lasagna.

Our friends from round the 406 popped over for a pre weekend festivity in our first (I think) Friday night game for while (ever ?).

A win for the visitors would guarantee them second and really put the pressure on Chelsea for the title. More of a cup final for the Totts than they want to believe. Read more…

WHUFC vs Swansea City 08/04/2017 EPL 2016-2017

April 9, 2017 Leave a comment

First off, I know its been a while. Work and other things have been taking up most of my time and I just haven’t had the opportunity to put fingers to keyboard. Even my twitter posting is down 61% for April (@mrben09)  .

Anyway yesterday was a beautiful day, and we welcomed Swansea to Corp HQ. The Swans are usually 3 points for us, but currently we are slipping down the table like a drunk octopus and although Swansea let go a winning position late on Wednesday night, generally Paul Clement seems to have turned the corner for them.

Read more…

WHUFC vs Manchester United 10/05/2016 EPL 2015-2016

May 11, 2016 1 comment

The 80’s are fashionable currently so I hear. Jordan 1’s are back in stores, as is garish gym gear. Women’s fashion seems to be very 80’s based currently and last week I swear I saw someone playing with a Rubik Cube on the train.

West Ham join in the revival and we get castigated ! I remember a time when smashing the opposition bus, having several thousand fans locked out the ground, starting the game an hour late, throwing bottles at their keeper (plus the obligatory, should be old enough to know better, pitch invader) ,  running a bar dry, and leaving the ground to make your way through riot police was a staple of most Saturdays. But now people just get hot about it.

OK I jest, but anyone who wasn’t there and has just read the websites and papers, and listened to Adrian Durham drone on (who wasn’t there either) will think (once again) WW3 broke out in Upton Park last night. I’m not condoning any of the above  (except the bar bit) but lets be real. Yes the streets were packed, yes loads of people without tickets were there, but a few idiots throw some bottles at a bus and it’s the ICF comeback. Nonsense. Absolute nonsense.

I spent about 5  hours there, and never heard a raised (angry) voice. But I heard many voices, all raised. The atmosphere was just something to behold. This fixture is always an occasion, but last night was off the chart. I was there for the last game of the South Bank, the North Bank and the West Stand, but this was something that will live with me forever.

All the stuff afterwards with the fireworks and all that, although I see some people liking it, isn’t for me and I scooted prior to the Rejects playing, which is a little annoying but like I say, that stuff isn’t for me

There was a video played on the screens, listing many of the players that had passed away but would technically been “young enough” to be there, and although John Lyall, and Graham Paddon were up there, obviously the big one was Sir Bobby Moore. The Man U fans spontaneously burst into a chant of his name. Class Act all round. It was that kind of night.

With all this going on there was a football game on as well, and although late, it was probably one of the best Premier League games of the season. Both teams still have their eye on 5th, and both put out very strong teams. Our nemesis, Mr Rooney, started for United which is usually ominous. But we seemed to contain him ,and he seemed a little off form, which doesn’t bode well for the Euros. Misplaced passes out wide were common place and we started to get the upper hand. For the first time in a long time we played two real strikers up top, I assume to keep the Utd centre backs busy, and it seemed to be paying off. Then Sakho bent one round De Gea from distance, and it was game on after  10 minutes. We had another chance when Carroll went clear from a great through ball from Payet but hit it straight at the keeper. Anyway, we held onto our lead to half time, and it looked like the dream night would happen. In the 2nd half Man U came out firing, and the wingers seem to be on their A game. In fact one of them, Mr Martial strolled though our defence to pick up a straight pass/cross and draw the visitors level. Did I expect it it ?  Yes. Did I expect a re run of the first 2 Swansea goals? No. Slaven needs to get the CB’s to work on position when there is an overlap, its just too easy for the opposition.

Soon after Martial got another one by getting into a stoppable position again, and the wheels were coming off. But the team fed off the incredible crowd, and in only 4 minutes, Antonio had equalised with a great header. Once again he had a set celebration ready, but Andy Carroll dragged him up the pitch. He knew it, we knew it, this was our night, and ours only, even if you are the most decorated team ever in the English game. Another 4 minutes, another goal, this time from the unlikely source of Winston Reid, whose other goal was pretty famous on the terraces as well, but will always now be the scorer of the last ever goal at The Boleyn.

We played out the last 10 minutes on the edge but for a change in control. So who won the game? The players played for the fans, the fans went berserk for the players, and Slaven was the architect. Did it mean as much to him as everyone else? Considering he was in tears at the final whistle, I think the answer was yes.

5th place is in the hands of others now, and I think the game at Stoke is a bit after the Lord Mayors show, so we have to see the shake out of FA Cups and UEFA cups to see if we get another shot in Europe in our new shed in season 1, but I for one will never forget this evening. Leaving earlier than most gave me a bit of time on my own taking one last look at the old girl and I left with a heavy heart, but hoping we can build this club on the potential that is now in place. Whether I will be along for the full ride will depend on how the new “experience” plays out, but I have my ticket, and we shall see.

Thanks for the memories, old girl..

MOTM: The Stadium and the Fans

 

WHUFC vs Aston Villa 02/02/2016 EPL 2015- 2016

February 3, 2016 Leave a comment

IMG_20160202_194511

The lights come on, and the games commence.

The lights decended once again over Upton Park as the Premier League strugglers Aston Villa rolled into town for this midweek battle of the Claret and Blues.
We drew 0-0 with them just before Xmas, and knowing our history of being a charitable team to anyone who needs points, to be honest I expected the same.

Read more…

WHUFC vs Norwich City EPL 26/09/2015

September 27, 2015 Leave a comment

It's all kicking off at Upton Park

It’s all kicking off at Upton Park

Yesterday we welcomed one of the new teams to the Premiership. I for one, was not sure of victory as we had had a tough game at Leicester during the week, which was lost  in extra time. This was born out by the WHU start which was leggy to say the best. Noble and Kouyate especially were out of sorts and just looked knackered. Just as well we are not still in Europe !

Noble summed this up just before the 10 minute mark, by directing a lazy pass across our goal looking for Tomkins. This was intercepted by Brady who coolly opened the scoring for the canaries.

West Ham huffed and puffed throughout the half. Just after the half hour mark we managed an equalizer when Payet and Sakho combined well to finish with a tap in to make it 1 – 1 at half time.

No subs at half time for WHU , which surprised me, as I wouldn’t have been amazed to see neither Noble, Koutaye, or Jenkinson come out for the second half.

The second half was very much more of the same in what was becoming a easy to forget game. Nathan Redmond came on near the end and I imagine thought he had scored the winner when once again Noble fell short to allow Redmond’s shot to find Adrian’s bottom corner.

Then WHU woke up, and we threw everything at them including Andy Carroll who got himself into a couple of good positions, which were well covered by Ruddy, who also made a great save from Payet. Ruddy’s luck ran out when he tried to punch out a Free kick with Carroll bearing down on him and got it as far as Kouyate, who finished well to secure a draw with seconds to go

So, a point at home keeps us in 3rd and 1 point closer to Man City, but Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham, are 2 points closer to us. Fairplay to Slaven, who had no problem taking off our Captain, as he was having a shocker, maybe a little earlier next time. He also finished with 2 up top, which is encouraging, but with Moses and Payet, you will always have some sort of forward presence.

The Norwich fans seem to be turning into some sort of Palace style “Ultra” support model, which is funny if nothing else.

MOTM was both goalkeepers who kept the goals with some great saves, especially Adrian with his face, which must of stung a bit. With all these saves you would think the game was a classic, it really wasn’t. It was a bit of an attritional game and the score was about right, although Norwich may feel they shaded it, but they did sacrifice the lead twice.

WHUFC vs Birkirkara FC – UEFA Cup 16/07/2015

July 18, 2015 Leave a comment

West Ham’s journey into Europe continues unabated as the Hammers faced Birkirkara FC of Malta last Thursday. I was late in getting my ticket application, so for the first time in my life I was sat in the East Stand, the famous “Chicken Run”.

This meant watching football side on, as I was near the half way line, and once I got used to it, I actually enjoyed it. You do miss some of the in box action, but you do get a good idea of the ebb and flow.

This weeks opponents were a big step up from our last round match up, and seemed to be organised and have a modicum of talent. The game itself reminded me of a 3rd round FA cup tie. The plucky lower ranked club were all over the pitch closing down WHU, and kept all their men behind the ball.

That said, a stronger WHU team than played in the previous round could not breach the defences. We even had Maiga on the pitch. Like Zarate (who also played) I thought he was gone, but there he was, in the claret and blue. He had a good first half, eliciting a world class save from their keeper, and hitting the post. The were some long shots from Noble and Amalfitano, and that was that for the first 45 minutes. FCB has no shots on target at all, and were limited to 2 or 3 half hearted attacks.

The second half was more of the same, but it was becoming apparent where the issues were. Maiga was subbed for Lee, but we still were not getting the ball forward. The reason being Kevin Nolan was shocking. He was slower than usual, took an age to turn around, and even seem to struggle with passing the ball into peoples path. Everything was straight at them, making them stop and in turn getting closed down.

Consequently we had to wait until time added on, until Tomkins got this second European goal of the season, after the keeper failed to deal with a corner.

Overall a professional performance from the Hammers and I expect next week’s away leg to be an easier proposition, as the adrenaline will have left our opponents, and the need to open up if they are to stand any chance. The next round, we could be up against Inverness which for personal reasons will be interesting.

WHUFC vs Crystal Palace EPL 28/02/2015

February 28, 2015 Leave a comment

whucpfc

Not a lot to report here. WHU were useless. Mark Noble excepted, who seemed to be enjoying coming out of the shadow of Kevin Nolan and more likely enjoying the next 5 years on 50k a week.

Read more…

Tottenham Hotspur vs WHUFC EPL 22/02/2015

February 22, 2015 Leave a comment

Its been a while so even though I’ve watched this on the telly, I thought I’d put in a match report.

Spurs had a tough game against Florentina a few days earlier and WHU had a weeks rest after their embarrassing exit from the FA cup at the hands of West Brom the previous weekend. So we had a chance, but recent games would suggest the opposite with Spurs and Harry Kane on the rise and WHU losing form like a 3 legged horse.

Read more…

WHUFC vs Tottenham Hotspur EPL 2014/2015 16/08/2014

August 17, 2014 Leave a comment

3 mins until the start of the season

3 mins until the start of the season

The new seasons is upon us and Sam has promised a new look attacking West Ham. What we got was Carlton Cole up top on his own . 

The game started at a pretty frenetic pace as you would expect in a always competitive London derby. However both teams cancelled each other out, and chances were at a premium. However, after 27 mins a turned shot from Kevin Nolan was adjudged to be hand balled by Kyle Naughton and he was dismissed and Mark Noble stepped up to take the pen. I have never been the biggest fan of his penalties but he always seem to score them, so fair play. Anyway this one he pulled to the left of the goal and the game stayed drawn. As is usual Spurs started to get back into it, and they swapped to 3 at the back. This is where Sam made the mistake. As soon as Spurs went down the 10 men we should of gone two up top. Valencia and Zareto were on the bench, and Nolan was on the pitch, but no, Sam knows best and kept Carlton isolated up front.

By the second half you could tell the fans were getting frustrated, but we kept getting chances. Stewart Downing was unlucky after getting through 2 players to only drop short against a brilliant Lloris save. Valencia came on for the last 15 and looked lively although small. Collins was also dismissed after the hour mark for a second yellow, both of which were justified as basically he was trying to break up play with cynical fouls.

The interesting thing was that at 90 mins, no one was leaving the ground. I and I think everyone else knew that something was going to happen but didn’t know what. They didn’t have long to wait when Spurs new signing Dier broke through the dogged WHU defence and slotted home the winner around Adrian.

Bottom line is we played OK, just OK, but not poorly. Cresswell looked great and Kouyate was OK in the middle but needs to come out and forward more. Valencia’s cameo appearance was encouraging, but he is way too small to play on his own up there.

For me Cresswell was MOTM, with Noble closely behind. Nolan was shocking and Sam needs to take a good look at his best mate and his contribution to the team. And at least we are above Man U on the league. 

Looks like we already taking the existing ground down !

Looks like we already taking the existing ground down !

I also had some time before the game to check the progress on our new home in Stratford. Things seems to be coming along, but it still looks too big for us if I’m honest.

2 years to go....

2 years to go….

WHU – where next ?

June 10, 2014 Leave a comment

A season to forget for the big fella

A season to forget for the big fella

So, the season has come to an end and the Hammers ended up in a respectable mid table position. Despite the dreadful football exhibited by Sam and the team this year.
Where do we go? This close season has delivered some great rumors (Ashley Cole), some poor ones (Rio Ferdinand), and some outright hilarious ones (Emile Heskey ?).
The signing of Mauro Zarate is obviously a cheap tactic for the board and manager to protest their new brand of attacking football. What’s the chances he turns up and sits on the bench, watching Carroll flounder around on his own for another season. Where does this leave Carlton Cole? As he hasn’t followed his namesake Joe out of the door, I assume he stays and sees out his remaining one year around the bench and the last 10 minutes.
Talking of Joe , I for one will go on record and say he did not deliver this time around, and I for one was disappointed. Sam got one thing right, JC was simply not fit enough. Villa are taking a massive chance on giving him what surely must be his last chance.
With Joe in the taxi (c. V Paradis) was George McCartney and Jack Collison. Jack was no surprise, as he didn’t really add anything , and since his career threatening injury a couple of years ago, he is just not a premier league player. But he is WHU through and through, and his open letter to the fans was truly sad, especially his reminisces of that Millwall game. George going was interesting as currently there are no ideal replacements in the team unless Joey O’Brien is being favoured (really ?). Bring on Ashley Cole I say, or maybe Evra if he gets replaced at United as they talk about doing it nearly every season.

As part of this new look attacking team (LOL @ Sam), we need someone who is a real attacking midfielder. Nolan has cost us more than he has delivered in the last year, but will not leave all the time Sam is there (but he’s not in the photos for the new kit, so you never know). Who is this person we need?  How about Ravel Morrison (remember him ?). Didn’t get a game for QPR either when it mattered, but we all know what he can do. If Sam is the manager he thinks and says he is then he has to sort this out. However if Fergie and ‘Arry couldn’t then maybe it is a lost cause. In that case I bring you…..Jack Rodwell. Wasting his time at City, and with probably more big players coming in , that won’t change anytime soon.

This is also the upcoming season to blood some of the Academy properly, and not in the way it was done this year, by exploiting them in the FA Cup.

This coming season for the club is critical, being the penultimate season at the Boleyn. We cannot be trying to get promotion before the big move, or worse still, move in while we are in the Championship. Just unthinkable.

I would also be looking to shift some more deadwood (RVT and Stephen Henderson) and someone who played like a dead wood, Mr Mohammed Diame. It’s a shame, the lad has everything, but cannot be arsed to do it for us, and keeps banging on about Liverpool. So do us all a favour mate and piss off.

Normally i would review the season but it was one to right off. I will issue my player of the season though. Once again unexpected (for me), after the surprise of Winston Reid last year, this years recipient is Mark Noble. Not only did he carry himself well all season he also carried Diame and Nolan at times as well.  Well played Sir.

Special shout out to Adrian, who came into a team in disarray, let in double figures in his first 2 games (none his fault), and then turned in performance after performance. Good lad.

That’s me for this season unless any big news happens before the start of the season. But like the Euro’s i will be doing a little right up of the England games as they happen in the WC. Guess that will keep me busy for 2 weeks !

 

COYI